Councils have until midnight on 31 October to submit their second Implementing Electronic Government (IEG) statements to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) in order to qualify for another share of £675m worth of e-government funding.
Bob Griffith, Socitm's national secretary, said, "Local authorities should recognise that the deadline is fast approaching, especially when they have to go through the democratic process of getting the statement agreed by their own council committees."
Officials at the ODPM, which took over the running of e-government earlier this year from the now-defunct Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, has warned councils that IEG2 statements should summarise the e-government progress they have made over the past 12 months.
Statements will also be expected to reflect key elements of the draft national strategy for local e-government, e-gov@local, which was published for consultation on 8 April 2002.
The first round of IEG funding took place last year, when councils worked towards a July 2001 deadline for making their first submission to receive an initial slice of e-government funding.
Typical e-government projects include making council departments' services available over the Internet and the implementation of customer relationship management systems.
Councils submitting successful IEG2 statements this year will get a second payment of £200,000. In order to receive this, however, they will have to prove that the initial £200,000 grant that followed last year's IEG process has been used to good effect.
There is help available for councils struggling to complete their IEG2 statements. Socitm has teamed up with the Improvement and Development Agency (Idea) to produce guidance to take local authorities through the process. The information, which is available on the Idea Web site, is aimed at local authority e-champions and those responsible for drafting the statements.
Matthew Wolstenholme, e-government consultant at Idea, acknowledged the importance of the forthcoming IEG deadline but urged councils to view it within the context of their long-term e-government strategies.
He said, "The deadline is extremely important but you cannot treat it as a one-off job. E-government is about ongoing improvement."
E-government implementation deadline
- Councils have until midnight on 31st October to submit their second Implementing Electronic Government (IEG) statements, which are designed to prove that local authorities have made significant e-government progress since last year's IEG statements were submitted
- The IEG process is designed to allocate shares of £675m worth of e-government funding up until 2006 Authorities submitting successful IEG2 statements will receive a payment of £200,000.